We get this type of question all throughout the hot summer months – How do we make the most of our HVAC units and stay energy efficient? This is a valid question, especially in the economic times we are in now as everyone is trying to cut costs and save money. Some easy ways homeowners can improve energy efficiency, protect the environment and keep your home cool are listed below:
- Make sure your air flow ends up where it is supposed to instead of leaking out, wasting energy and not cooling all the areas of your home.
- Dirt build up in your AC unit can lead to system overload resulting in your unit working harder. Regularly changing your air filters will help decrease the amount of energy your unit expends cooling your home and will also help clean your air reducing allergies and asthma.
- This will reduce the rate of heat flowing in your home during the summer and reduce the amount of heat leaving your home in the winter.
- If you leave for vacation, turn the water heater down when it is not in use and there is no reason to heat the water.
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 70% less energy and last longer than regular light bulbs. A simple switch such as this can significantly reduce your monthly energy bill.
- Planting trees and shrubs around your house will help to deflect wind and sun, thus keeping your house comfortable during the changing seasons.
- Upgrading your windows to double paned, adding storm windows, adding an extra pane of glass or inserting a window tint are all options to help maintain a more energy efficient home.
Some of these options are higher cost than others while others are more easily attainable right now. These are only some of the options available to your family to help increase the efficiency of your HVAC units. Drop us a line if you need more tips, new units or anything else!
In an effort to help reduce the dependence on foreign sources of energy and to help offset costs of making your home more energy efficient, the government has been providing tax credits to homeowners. This has been going on for several years and was set to expire at the beginning of 2011. Luckily for homeowners, earlier this year the government passed a vote by nearly a 2-1 margin to extend the tax credits on high efficiency HVAC equipment through the end of 2011. The extension of the tax credits is at a lower value, capped at $500 rather than $1500 prior to the extension, but it maintains the tax credits and leaves the door open for Congress to change or restore the credits at the end of 2011 when they expire. Rather than have the tax credits disappear altogether, they extended the credits at a lower cap.
This makes 2011 a perfect time to purchase a new energy efficient unit if you missed the opportunity in the previous years. If times were tough a few years ago and you didn’t have the means to upgrade your units, now would be a good time to start thinking about a new unit. As we stated above, the program changed from previous versions of the tax credit but it is still able to provide incentives for your family. For instance, the credit is no more than 10% of your energy efficient improvement costs – upgraded insulation, windows, HVAC equipment – up to $500. Special credit limits for air conditioners and heat pumps are $300 and for furnaces they are $150. If you already receive credits of $500 or more from improvements made prior to 2011, you won’t be able to claim new credits for additional improvements.
With the tax credits for high efficiency HVAC units extended until the end of 2011, homeowners have a great opportunity to upgrade their old units and save some cash. Give us a call if you are interested in a new AC, Furnace or water heater!
Well, here you are and you found our brand new blog. This blog will be an extension of our company, Viking Heating and Cooling. You can read more on our website but we have 2 locations with offices in Huntley, IL and Bloomington, IL. We do this so we can focus all of our time and efforts equally on homeowners in the suburbs of Chicago and central Illinois.
Check back often as we will have money saving tips for your home, air conditioner, furnace and water heater. We look forward to providing additional news and resources to homeowners in the area and passerby’s. Until next time…stay cool!